Turkey-Egypt ready for cooperation to stop bloodshed in Gaza: Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Türkiye and Egypt are ready to cooperate to stop the bloodshed in Gaza amid Israel’s incessant attacks, which have killed over 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.


Speaking at a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Erdoğan said the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza topped their agenda.

He noted that the two countries are ready to rebuild Gaza, which has been destroyed in Israeli attacks.

He also said Israel’s attempts to expel Palestinians from their land in Gaza are “null and void.”

“We welcome Egypt’s stance against Israel’s attempts in this regard,” he said, adding that they both highlighted the necessity of transporting humanitarian aid into Gaza, – where over 1.5 million people are experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe – without disruptions.

Erdoğan noted that he was pleased to be back in Cairo, as he said they’ve taken steps to further strengthen Türkiye-Egypt ties at the presidential level. He also said the two countries were planning to boost energy and defense cooperation.

For his part, el-Sissi also hailed ever-growing bilateral ties between Egypt and Türkiye.

“We are proud of the current state of relations between the two countries,” he said.

The two leaders signed the Joint Statement on Restructuring of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council Meetings ahead of the joint news conference in Cairo.

In a first for 12 years, President Erdoğan arrived in Egypt on Wednesday where his Egyptian counterpart el-Sissi personally welcomed him at the airport, breaking a tradition in honor of his guest.

The visit caps diplomatic efforts in recent years to thaw the nations’ frosty relations. They mutually appointed ambassadors last year, and this month, Türkiye said it would provide Egypt with armed drones. The two leaders fell out after Egypt’s 2013 military coup that toppled President Mohamed Morsi. After the coup, diplomatic ties were downgraded although economic ties remained largely unharmed. Indeed, in 2022, Türkiye was the largest importer of Egyptian goods, totaling $4 billion (TL 123 billion). In 2023, Cairo allowed Turkish citizens to obtain a visa on arrival, paving the way for advanced tourism.

Normalization accelerated after Erdoğan and el-Sissi shook hands in Doha at the World Cup in 2022 and gained further pace following the deadly February 2023 earthquakes in Türkiye, Erdoğan’s reelection in May and the appointment of ambassadors to each other’s capitals in July. Since then, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G-20 leaders summit in September and held conversations over the phone, particularly on the latest round of the Palestine-Israel conflict that broke out on Oct. 7. Cairo and Ankara have backed opposing factions in Libya’s yet unresolved conflict, and also over maritime borders in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean. However, Türkiye has dismissed claims of a rivalry with Egypt in the region and reiterated willingness for more cooperation.